Agenda for Invasive Species Summit

The summit was a brief 12 hour event, spread out over a day and a half. The agenda (abbreviated version here) included posters, plenary talks, round-tables, and breakout sessions.  The speakers were federal officials, researchers, nongovernmental organization leaders, and others who are well-known as leaders in invasive species management. Where speakers permitted, the slides from their presentations are included below as links.

Friday, November 9

The Invasive Arthropod Forestry Pests of British Columbia: A Case Study for a Broader Challenge?

As a border province with the U.S. and the western seaport of Canada, British Columbia can be viewed as a case study for the invasive arthropod species challenge. B.C. is Canada’s 3rd most populous province and home to Vancouver, one of the busiest ports in North America. Two primary industries, forestry and tourism, are known pathways for invasive species.

  • Facilitator, Gail Wallin, Invasive Species Council of BC, Executive Director
  • Panelists:
    • Babita Bains, British Columbia Ministry of Forests; Provincial Forest Entomologist
    • Tim Ebata, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; Forest Health Officer
    • Tracy Hueppelsheuser, British Columbia Plant Protection Advisory Council; Chair
    • Jennifer McGuire; Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy;
      Assistant Deputy Minister
    • Brian Van Hezewijk; Canadian Forest Service; Research Scientist

Policy Considerations of the Trans-boundary Arthropod Forest Pests Challenge

This session was a facilitated and strategic conversation on increasing the cross-border collaboration and cooperation between the U.S. and Canada to better enable early and rapid detection and management of invasive arthropod species. The panelists discussed the challenge from their perspective, reacted to the prior panel and addressed questions from the facilitator and audience.

  • Facilitator, Gail Wallin, Invasive Species Council of BC, Executive Director
  • Panelists:
    • Stephanie Bloem; North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO); Executive Director
    • Rick Cooksey; U.S. Forest Service; Acting Director Forest Health Protection
    • Bruno Gallant; Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Senior Legislative Officer, Invasive Alien Species and Domestic Plant Health Programs Section
    • Anthony Hopkin; Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service; Director, Entomology and Phytosanitary Service
    • Samantha J. Simon; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Senior Invasive Species Coordinator

Issues and Challenges Regarding Invasive Forest Insects

Panelists focused on the technical challenges of the invasive forest insect problem across the U.S. and Canadian border. They presented on their areas of expertise, reacted to the prior two discussions, and sought to find areas where the entomological community can come together to make a difference in the ways that the two nations–and, indeed, the rest of the world–can improve our ability to manage invasive species.

  • Facilitator, Gail Wallin, Invasive Species Council of BC, Executive Director
  • Panelists:
    • Robert Rabaglia; U.S. Forest Service; Entomologist
    • Nancy Furness; Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Forestry Specialist
    • Leland Humble; Natural Resources Canada; Research Scientist
    • Meghan Noseworthy; Canadian Forest Service; Research Biologist
    • Ian Pearse; U.S. Geological Survey; Research Ecologist

Saturday, November 10


Attendees previewed the day to come and received an overview of the summit’s purpose, including important updates and outcomes from the prior day’s round-table conversations. The presenter was Frank Zalom; University of California, Davis & Summit Co-Chair. Click here for the slides from this presentation.

Sponsor address: Corteva Agrisciences, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

CortevaLegal_HorColorHeadquartered in Wilmington, DE, Corteva, the former Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, is an agricultural company with a leading position in seed technologies, crop protection, and digital agriculture. The company has a strong belief in developing market shaping technologies and partnerships and views this sponsorship as part of their drive toward developing food security on a global basis. The presented was Sunil Tewari, Field Scientist, Corteva Agriscience. Click here for the slides from this presentation.

The Views from Washington and Ottawa: The Invasive Species Challenge from Both Sides of the Border

This two-part, high level and high impact plenary talk featured federal officials from both the Canadian and U.S. governments. They delivered talks that addressed their respective federal positions on invasive species, the challenges the governments are facing, and ways that they see for the U.S. and Canadian on federal priorities related to international cooperation in invasive species. There were two presenters:

Ground War: The View from Inside Port Operations

Several of the ports in the Pacific Northwest are among the busiest ports in the Americas. Vancouver itself is among the top 30 busiest ports in the world. This talk will be a real life discussion of the challenges faced by port managers on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Using the port of Seattle as an example for the issues faced by all managers, this talk showcased the scope of the problem in addition to highlighting other challenges, such as funding, scale, training, and the tools of the trade. The presenter was Roy Hamblin, Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Chief, Seattle Trade Branch.

Funding Solutions Through Innovation

This presentation focused on looking beyond the obvious for solutions and instead encouraged participants to think differently and build solution-seeking communities where they don’t currently exist. The e-Economy has disrupted most traditional business models, forcing individuals to look beyond the horizon to adapt to an always-new paradigm. A guiding question for this presentation was this: “What is to be learned by broadening our scope as we search for solutions to the invasive arthropod species challenge?” The presenter was Paul Bunje; Conservation X Labs; Co-founder. Click here for the slides from this presentation.

Sponsor address: Syngenta

Syngenta-logo-webSyngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. The presenter was Catherine “Caydee” Savinelli, Pollinator & IPM Stewardship Lead.  Click here for the slides from this presentation.

Challenge Areas Panel

Many of the invasive species challenges that entomologists and other professionals face are the same, regardless of what pest is being considered. This panel presentation sought to define the primary issues that need to be addressed. The panelists addressed their views on the most critical elements of the challenge, including prevention, detection, and response.

  • Facilitator: Tracey Cooke; Invasive Species Centre; Executive Director
  • Panelists: 
    • Sandy Smith; University of Toronto; Professor
    • Stephanie Bloem; NAPPO; Executive Director
    • Andrew Liebhold; U.S. Forest Service; Research Entomologist
    • Leland Humble; Natural Resources Canada; Research Scientist

“No New Invaders” Perspective Talks

We tend to think of invasive species as inevitable, and perhaps they are. But does that kind of thinking limit our approaches? What would it take to stop all new invasions? Re-framing the challenge allows us to better view our toolkit. These “What if …” scenarios were all short talks delivered in a lively presentation style. They were designed to get summit attendees thinking of the challenge from a different perspective.

A New Paradigm: Challenges and Opportunities in a Dynamic Political Landscape

The political landscape is changing, seemingly on a daily basis. What does that mean from a policy perspective? What are we doing right (and wrong) in our current approaches to federal invasive species management? If we could start from scratch, how would we build a better system? The presenter was Sonny Ramaswamy, President Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and Former Director USDA-NIFA. Click here for the slides from this presentation.

Invasion Biology: Science and Policy

This talk discussed invasion biology and the strategic usage of data to make better-informed decisions. In other words, how can we get better and learning from past lessons to help limit the impacts of invaders in the future? The presenter was James Carey; University of California-Davis; Professor. Click here for the slides from this presentation.

Morning Wrap Up

Lessons learned during the morning sessions were discussed, the process for developing the outcome report from the summit was reviewed, and the afternoon sessions were previewed. The presenter was Tracy Hueppelsheuser, British Columbia Plant Protection Advisory Council & Summit Co-Chair

Breakout Sessions on Critical Issues

The purpose of the breakout sessions was to begin to create a compelling narrative to discuss the four themes (Prevention, Detection, Response, and Policy) of the summit using the ABT narrative and working with communications expert Randy Olson. The process was summed up in a recent blog post by Dr. Olson. The breakout leaders were:

  • Prevention Facilitator: Frank Zalom
  • Detection Facilitator: Leland Humble
  • Response Management Facilitators: Sandy Smith and Tracey Hueppelsheuser
  • Trade and Policy/International Agreements Facilitator: Helen Spafford

Sponsor address: Bayer CropScience

Bayer-webHeadquartered in Monheim Germany, the Crop Science Division of Bayer has a global footprint that spans nearly every country and employs more than 35,000 people. Bayer CropScience is a global team working to shape agriculture through breakthrough innovation for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and our planet. The presenter was Graham Head, Senior Scientist. Click here to see the slides from this presentation.

Moving from Discussion to Impact

This session was the outcome from the breakout sessions. It started with a brief presentation from Dr. Randy Olson, a scientist turned filmmaker, and then each breakout leader talked about the process and what their group developed. It was stressed that this is merely step #1 in the process with more work to refine the narrative to come in the weeks and months ahead. Click here to see the slides from the breakout reports.

Helping to Set the Agenda for Invasive Species Research

This talk addressed ways that the Grand Challenges summit can help to set the outcomes for the ways that the global community addresses the challenges of invasive arthropods in the future, including launching a new crowd-funding challenge grant for which ESA will contribute $1,500 in additional funding. The presenter was Denny Luan; Co-founder. Click here to see the slides from this presentation.

2019 and Beyond

The GCAFE Initiative is broader than this single summit. It is a community of entomologists and partners who seek to improve the state of the world through collaborative communication around the challenge areas. Perhaps the most important part of the summit will occur in the weeks that follow its conclusion. This talk set the stage for that. The presidents from the three hosting entomological societies and some of their other international counterparts discussed the day’s conversations, the consensus document, and identified needs in the coming days, months, and years. A summit to take place at the 2020 International Congress of Entomology was also announced.

  • Facilitator: David Gammel; Entomological Society of America; Executive Director
  • Panelists:
    • Patrice Bouchard; Entomological Society of Canada; President
    • Panelist: Michael Parrella; Entomological Society of America; President
    • Panelist: Jennifer Cory; Entomological Society of British Columbia; President
    • Panelist: Luke Tilley; Royal Entomological Society; Chief Executive
    • Panelist: Heikki Hokkanen; Entomological Society of Finland; President
    • Panelist: Eliane Quintela; Entomological Society of Brazil; President

Adjourn and Attendee Photo